AP NEWS

City police take kids on shopping spree

December 15, 2017 GMT

La PORTE — More than 20 children went on a Christmas shopping spree recently with the assistance of La Porte City Police officers and Family Advocates volunteers.

Shop with a Cop is for children ages 13 to 18 involved in two Family Advocates efforts: the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or Court Appointed Youth Advocate (CAYA) programs.

La Porte Police Department officers were allowed to grow facial hair for No Shave November if they donated to the Shop with a Cop program. Along with a matching contribution from Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 54, the fundraising effort for Family Advocates collected $1,000.

Officers took the children to Walmart in La Porte recently and assisted them with making purchases using gift cards provided by Family Advocates, according to Capt. Bill Degnegaard.

CASA volunteers are trained and committed adults who speak up for children who have been abused or neglected. The CAYA program supports youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system by promoting intervention services and providing a positive mentor.

In addition to running the CASA and CAYA programs, Family Advocates operates Harmony House, a safe haven for supervised visitation between parents and children located at 1005 Michigan Ave.

According to its website, the organization’s volunteers and staff members are committed to objective advocacy focused on the best interest of children and fostering positive family relationships.